I can never read horror stories, but when it comes to middle-grade Halloween books, I’m all for it! Halloween is always so much fun. Your neighbours go crazy trying to create a spooky ambience; there are treats everywhere; pumpkins are carved, and the pumpkin spice lattes are here for the season. And it is obvious to see that Halloween is special for many children. So why not get a little spooky and read middle-grade Halloween books with them? I’ve listed eerie and fun middle-grade Halloween books suitable for ages 8 and 12. I hope you’ll enjoy them and have a fun Halloween!
While you’re here you may also enjoy 20 Wonderful Books About Witches.
20 Wonderful Middle-Grade Halloween Books
The Girl Who Drank the Moon – Kelly Barnhill
A must-read amongmiddle-grade Halloween books. Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is in fact a good witch who shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge – with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl… A Newbery Medal winner among middle-grade Halloween books.
Small Spaces – Katherine Arden
After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie who only finds solace in books discovers a chilling ghost story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who loved her, and a peculiar deal made with the smiling man–a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.
Captivated by the tale, Ollie begins to wonder if the smiling man might be real when she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about on a school trip to a nearby farm. Then, later, when her school bus breaks down on the ride home, the strange bus driver tells Ollie and her classmates: Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you. Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.
Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed these warnings. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: Avoid large places. Keep to small. And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins. An excellent choice amongmiddle-grade Halloween books.
The Halloween Tree – Ray Bradbury
Join the shadowy Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud as he takes eight trick-or-treaters on an unforgettable journey to find their missing friend, Pip. Travel through space and time, from the tombs of ancient Egypt to the gargoyles of Notre-Dame Cathedral, all the way to the cemeteries of Mexico on el Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Is Pip still alive? And if so, can his friends save him from a ghastly fate before it’s too late? A legendamongmiddle-grade Halloween books.
Thirteens – Kate Alice Marshall
A spooky readamongmiddle-grade Halloween books. Every thirteen years in the town of Eden Eld, three thirteen-year-olds disappear.
Eleanor has just moved to the quiet, prosperous Eden Eld. When she awakes to discover an ancient grandfather clock that she’s never seen before outside her new room, she’s sure her eyes must be playing tricks on her. But then she spots a large bird, staring at her as she boards the school bus. And a black dog with glowing red eyes follows her around town. All she wants is to be normal, and these are far from normal. And worse–no one else can see them.
Except for her new friends, Pip and Otto, who teach her a thing or two about surviving in Eden Eld. First: Don’t let the wrong things know you can see them. Second: Don’t speak of the wrong things to anyone else.
The only other clue they have about these supernatural disturbances is a book of fairytales unlike any they’ve read before. It tells tales of the mysterious Mr. January, who struck a cursed deal with the town’s founders. Every thirteenth Halloween, he will take three of their children, who are never heard from again. It’s up to our trio to break the curse–because Eden Eld’s thirteen years are up. And Eleanor, Pip, and Otto are marked as his next sacrifice. A wonderful choiceamongmiddle-grade Halloween books.
The Witches of Willow Cove – Josh Roberts
It’s not easy being a teenage witch. Seventh grader Abby Shepherd is just getting the hang of it when weird stuff starts happening all around her hometown of Willow Cove. Green slime bubbling to life in science class. Giant snakes slithering around the middle school gym. Her best friend suddenly keeping secrets and telling lies.
Things only begin to make sense when a stranger named Miss Winters reveals that Abby isn’t the only young witch in town—and that Willow Cove is home to a secret past that connects them all. Miss Winters, herself a witch, even offers to teach Abby and the others everything she knows about witchcraft.
But as Abby learns more about Miss Winters’ past, she begins to suspect her new mentor is keeping secrets of her own. Can Abby trust her, or does Miss Winters have something wicked planned for the young witches of Willow Cove? For the lovers of witchesamongmiddle-grade Halloween books.
The Second-Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street – Cory Putnam Oakes
A family-run haunted hotel’s livelihood is threatened when a bigger haunted hotel opens nearby in this hilarious, spooky storyamongmiddle-grade Halloween books.
Twelve-year-old Willow Ivan’s family has run the Hotel Ivan for four hundred years. Through thick and thin, they’ve held on tight to their title as the Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street. That is, until the Hauntery―a corporate chain of haunted hotels―moves in down the street. As the Ivan’s business fades, so do their ghostly staff. And Willow begins to worry that The Ivan’s days are numbered.
Then Willow meets Evie, a Hauntery ghost who’s forced to play the part of a Spooky Little Girl even though she longs to be a Terrifying Phantasm. So when Willow offers her a job at The Ivan, Evie accepts―but she doesn’t tell Willow that she’s still working for The Ivan’s competition, for fear of losing her new job and friend. A fun oneamongmiddle-grade Halloween books.
Kiki’s Delivery Service – Eiko Kadono
Half-witch Kiki never runs from a challenge. So when her thirteenth birthday arrives, she’s eager to follow a witch’s tradition: choose a new town to call home for one year.
Brimming with confidence, Kiki flies to the seaside village of Koriko and expects that her powers will easily bring happiness to the townspeople. But gaining the trust of the locals is trickier than she expected. With her faithful, wise-cracking black cat, Jiji, by her side, Kiki forges new friendships and builds her inner strength, ultimately realizing that magic can be found in even the most ordinary places.
Blending fantasy with the charm of everyday life, this enchanting new translation will inspire both new readers and dedicated fans. One of the loveliestamongmiddle-grade Halloween books.
The Bone Garden – Heather Kassner
A fantasyamongmiddle-grade Halloween books. Made of dust and bone and imagination, Irréelle fears she’s not quite real. Only the finest magical thread tethers her to life – and to Miss Vesper. But for all her efforts to please her cruel creator, the thread is unravelling. Irréelle is forgetful as she gathers bone dust. She is slow returning from the dark passages beneath the cemetery. Worst of all, she is unmindful of her crooked bones.
When Irréelle makes one final, unforgivable mistake by destroying a frightful creature just brought to life, Miss Vesper threatens to imagine her away once and for all. Defying her creator for the very first time, Irréelle flees to the underside of the graveyard and embarks on an adventure to unearth the mysterious magic that breathes bones to life, even if it means she will return to dust and be no more. A spooky one amongmiddle-grade Halloween books.
The Night Gardener – Jonathan Auxier
The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making. A victorian ghost storyamongmiddle-grade Halloween books.
Dreamwood – Heather Mackey
Lucy Darrington has no choice but to run away from boarding school. Her father, an expert on the supernatural, has been away for too long while doing research in Saarthe, a remote territory in the Pacific Northwest populated by towering redwoods, timber barons, and the Lupine people. But upon arriving, she learns her father is missing: Rumor has it he’s gone in search of dreamwood, a rare tree with magical properties that just might hold the cure for the blight that’s ravaging the forests of Saarthe.
Determined to find her father (and possibly save Saarthe), Lucy and her vexingly stubborn friend Pete follow William Darrington’s trail to the deadly woods on Devil’s Thumb. As they encounter Lupine princesses, giant sea serpents, and all manner of terrifying creatures, Lucy hasn’t reckoned that the dreamwood itself might be the greatest threat of all. An interesting one among middle-grade Halloween books.
Serafina and the Black Cloak – Robert Beatty
An interesting one among middle-grade Halloween books. Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There’s plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity… before all of the children vanish one by one.
Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past. A fantasy among middle-grade Halloween books.
The Haunting of Henry Davis – Kathryn Siebel
A spooky one amongmiddle-grade Halloween books. Ghosts only haunt when they’ve left something behind…
When Henry Davis moves into the neighborhood, Barbara Anne and her classmates at Washington Carver Elementary don’t know what to make of him. He’s pale, small, odd. For curious Barbara Anne, Henry’s also a riddle–a boy who sits alone at recess sketching in a mysterious notebook, a boy, she soon learns, who’s being haunted by a ghost named Edgar.
With the help of some new friends, this unlikely duo is off on an adventure to discover who Edgar was while alive and why he’s haunting Henry now. Together, they might just help Edgar find what he needs to finally be at peace. A ghost storyamong middle-grade Halloween books.
Winterhouse – Ben Guterson
A fun one amongmiddle-grade Halloween books. Orphan Elizabeth Somers’s malevolent aunt and uncle ship her off to the ominous Winterhouse Hotel, owned by the peculiar Norbridge Falls. Upon arrival, Elizabeth quickly discovers that Winterhouse has many charms–most notably its massive library. It’s not long before she locates a magical book of puzzles that will unlock a mystery involving Norbridge and his sinister family.
But the deeper she delves into the hotel’s secrets, the more Elizabeth starts to realize that she is somehow connected to Winterhouse. As fate would have it, Elizabeth is the only person who can break the hotel’s curse and solve the mystery. But will it be at the cost of losing the people she has come to care for, and even Winterhouse itself?
Mystery, adventure, and beautiful writing combine in this exciting debut richly set in a hotel full of secretsamong middle-grade Halloween books.
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him – after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod’s life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man? A classicamong middle-grade Halloween books.
Vega Jane and the Secrets of Sorcery – David Baldacci
Vega Jane is fourteen when she is secretly given a map that reveals a mysterious world and dangerous creatures beyond the walls of Wormwood, a place no one has ever left – or wanted to. Until now. The map makes her question everything she has ever been told about the place she calls home. Her friend Delph and her dog, Harry Two, are the only ones Vega trusts. Trapped by secrets and lies, they want freedom and truth.
But she will have to fight for freedom. And the truth may cost Vega her life. Love Baldacci? Choose this one for your childamong middle-grade Halloween books.
The Darkdeep – Ally Condie
When a bullying incident sends twelve year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella – and even ‘cool kid’ Opal – rush to his rescue… only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below. Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can’t quite shake the feeling that something about it is off.
As the group delves deeper into the unknown, their discoveries – and their lives – begin to intertwine in weird and spooky ways. Something ancient has awakened… and it knows their wishes and dreams – and their deepest secrets. Do they have what it takes to face the shadowy things that lurk within their own hearts? A spooky mysteryamong middle-grade Halloween books.
The Halloween Moon – Joseph Fink
Esther Gold loves Halloween more than anything in the world. So she is determined to go trick-or-treating again this year despite the fact that her parents think she is officially too old. Esther has it all planned out, from her costume to her candy-collecting strategy. But when the night rolls around, something feels… off.
No one is answering their door. The moon is an unnatural shade of orange. Strange children wander the streets, wearing creepy costumes that might not be costumes at all. And it seems like the only people besides Esther who are awake to see it all are her best friend, her school bully, and her grown-up next-door neighbor.
Together, this unlikely crew must find a way to lift the curse that has been placed upon their small town before it’s too late. Because someone is out to make sure Halloween never comes to an end. And even Esther doesn’t want to be trapped in this night forever. A true Halloween bookamong middle-grade Halloween books.
The House With a Clock in Its Walls – John Bellairs
Read this oneamong middle-grade Halloween books and watch the film later on Halloween! Lewis Barnavelt doesn’t have time on his side…
When Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan, comes to stay with his uncle Jonathan, he expects to meet an ordinary person. But he is wrong. Uncle Jonathan and his next-door neighbour, Mrs Zimmermann, are both witches! Lewis couldn’t be happier. What’s not to like about seeing his uncle practise spells and eating Mrs Zimmermann’s delicious cookies?
At first, watching magic is enough. Then Lewis experiments with magic himself and unknowingly resurrects the former owner of the house: a woman named Selenna Izard. It seems that evil Selenna and her husband built a timepiece into the walls – a clock that could obliterate humankind.
As the clock can be heard ticking away in the house all the time, sometimes louder, sometimes quieter, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, it is up to the Barnavelts to find where it is hidden in the walls – and stop it. A true race against timeamong middle-grade Halloween books.
The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street – Lindsay Currie
Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones.
When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone–or something–is trying to communicate with her. And it involves a secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years.
With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street–and more importantly, what it has to do with her! A chilling one amongmiddle-grade Halloween books.
Nightbooks – J. A. White
Alex’s original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he’ll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He’s loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don’t have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he’s desperate for a different ending–and a way out of this twisted place.
This modern spin on the Scheherazade story is perfect for fans of Coraline and A Tale Dark and Grimmamongmiddle-grade Halloween books.. With interwoven tips on writing with suspense, adding in plot twists, hooks, interior logic, and dealing with writer’s block, this is the ideal book for budding writers and all readers of delightfully just-dark-enough tales.
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Are there any middle-grade Halloween books you’d like to add to this list? Would you please share in the comments section below?